“Our move to Cimatron was one of the best business decisions we have ever made.”
Ju Teng International Holdings is one of the world’s largest producers of casings for electronic goods. With 40,000 staff and seven manufacturing facilities across both mainland China and Taiwan, its range of operations include plastic injection molding, spray painting, metal tooling and stamping and assembly.
In addition to the production of casings for televisions and handheld items such as ipads and digital cameras, Ju Teng claims over 30% of the international market for the manufacture of notebook casings. Tier-one notebook companies it supplies include Acer, Asus, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba.
As with most electronic products, the market for notebooks is highly competitive with ongoing efforts by the key brands to produce new, ever more powerful models as part of the battle for market share. While this means a regular supply of jobs for Ju Teng as a leading producer of notebook casings, deadlines are usually tight and there is constant pressure to keep production costs to an absolute minimum. However, given the sheer complexities involved in producing the casing molds – an average of 25 molds are required to create all the components for a single casing – meeting deadlines and minimizing costs can be challenging, to say the least.
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve productivity, in 2009 Ju Teng undertook a review of the CAD/CAM software employed in its manufacturing facilities. At the time, three software products were in use, one for parting, a 2D product for mold design, and Cimatron for NC programming and electrode creation.
It quickly became apparent that the use of separate products was creating communication inefficiencies between the CAD and CAM departments. Design data would need to be imported by NC programmers, and any accompanying instructions would be conveyed either verbally or via text documents, rather than by graphical geometry, creating process delays and leading to mistakes. In addition, all aspects of the design had to be fully completed before the CAM department could take over.
Another major issue was the use of 2D software for the mold design. Many aspects of the design were left to the imagination of the designer and mistakes were not discovered until after the manufacture of the mold. This problem was so common that Ju Teng had a department dedicated solely to fixing mistakes in molds that had already been machined.
After an extensive review and assessment of the available products on the market, Ju Teng’s choice fell to Cimatron. The company had been successfully using Cimatron for NC programming and electrode design and production since 2004, and saw the transition to the integrated software for both CAD and CAM as a natural choice. By the end of 2010, the company had a total of 280 Cimatron seats; by the beginning of 2013, Ju Teng had fully implemented the transition to Cimatron, with over 400 seats of the software across its seven machining facilities.
“Cimatron offered strong capabilities for our mold making needs and allowed all of our CAD and CAM processes to be performed with the one software. Working in a 3D environment and using Cimatron’s analysis tools, our staff has been able to accurately design molds for production, practically eliminating the need for trial-and-error on the shop floor. We’ve even been able to close one of our departments that was responsible for repairing mistakes in machined molds.
“It’s always a risk for a company the size of ours to move all of our operations to a new software, particularly given the burden of implementation and training. However, the Cimatron team provided an outstanding level of support during the process with onsite training and technical assistance, as well as a willingness to work closely with us at all stages to ensure that the transition was as smooth as possible.”